New York City, NY

NYC Calls on Population to Keep Getting Vaccinated, but the Technology Is Still an Impediment for Most of Them

Desiree Peralta

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

The expansion of eligibility to get the COVID-19 vaccine in New York brings back concerns about access to doses for older adults in the Big Apple, a sector of the population that has been facing limitations in the accessibility of the online dating system.

Now that New Yorkers 30 and older can be vaccinated, this expansion is estimated to add approximately 2 million people to the group who can request their appointments in the Big Apple, while still receiving about 200,000 doses of the first injection per week.

“The crush on dating will be intense. We have to make sure that marginalized communities are not blocked, ”estimated the president of the City Council's Health Commission, Mark Levine, who has repeatedly pointed out that only 14% of the city's adult population has received some dose.

Now, with millions of eligible people “competing” for a date, whoever is better at technology will now have notable advantages.

The good news in this race for injection is that now people over 75 years of age and over, and their companion of any age, can go 24 hours to three mass vaccination sites in the Big Apple without an appointment, just having an ID that proves your age.

Those over 65 still must continue to rely on the computerized immunization allocation system, which in many cases is a complicated path.

Technology is a barrier for many people to be vaccinated

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The New York Times, regarding the 100 days since the start of the immunization process against COVID-19 in the Big Apple, put on the table how disparities in the use of technology and language move away from the doses, even more to older adults in poor neighborhoods.

"Before the pandemic, Ms. Carlin, who is 84, loved to go on walks in Novato, Calif., with her grandchildren and dance at the senior center. Since March, though, she has been stuck indoors. She has been eager to sign up for a vaccine and begin returning to normal life.

But booking an appointment has been a technological nightmare. Ms. Carlin cannot afford to buy a computer, and would not know how to navigate the internet in search of a shot even if she could. While members of her family might be able to help her there, she avoids seeing them as a safety precaution."

In towns on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, approximately half of the adults have received at least one injection. In Corona, Queens, and in towns in the Bronx, where the virus is much more deadly, only 19% have managed to inject.

Many older people are homebound or have had trouble navigating complex and confusing websites to make an appointment.

I think adults are having problems because the vaccination center websites are not easy to use. They should make a change in how these appointments are processed so that more people have access to vaccination.

Also, I understand that once they start doing home vaccinations, these processes will be even easier for adults, but this process has not yet started.

The New York City Office of Aging (DFTA) assures that they have been working closely with the Vaccine Command Center (VCC) to get as close to the profile of seniors who live alone and do not have access to the technology. But it is still a problem for many of them who have not had access to the program yet.

Hopefully, we will find a solution for adults and we can continue to advance the vaccination program. What do you think would be a good solution for this technology problem?

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Yonkers, NY

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